SOCIAL COMMUNICATION DISORDER
Social (pragmatic) communication disorder is characterised by difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication that do not arise from low cognitive functions (DSM-V, 2014). Social communication disorder presents in a child’s atypical communication development during early development. Communication development begins at birth of a child with natural signs that do not convey an intent to communicate. At the end of the first year, a child begins to communicate needs or desires with the surrounding environment. During this period a child begins to use understandable communication signs. It is important to note that verbal messages, aside from speech, can be transmitted in numerous ways (gestures/sign language, images, writing and the like). Gestures are excellent when supporting communication at a point when linguistic-language development are, for some reason, only ‘screams’, as they further develop speech. Early signs can be seen in non-verbal communication, such as poor imitation of facial expressions, a lack of eye contact, little interest in co-operating with other children, while during the later phonetic stage this manifests in difficulties observing the rules of speech change and a difficulty in following conversations and understanding ambiguous or unstated content. The linguistic features of individuals with social communication disorders are related to difficultly using language knowledge (pragmatics), the order of words in sentences, stereotypical repetition of words or phrases and difficulties in acquiring meaning (semantics).